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Tyler Murphy in his first game with Eagles shows he’s already a leader

08.30.14 at 7:57 pm ET
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FOXBORO — Quarterback Tyler Murphy made a triumphant debut for Boston College Saturday, completing 17-of-24 passes for 173 yards and a touchdown while rushing 13 times for 118 yards and a touchdown to lead Boston College to a 30-7 win over the University of Massachusetts at Gillette Stadium.

“I wanted to come out and take care of the football,” Murphy said afterward. “I realized it wasn’t going to be one of those days. I take what they give us. So I started to take a little shorter routes.”

With UMass dropping eight men back in coverage and taking away the long ball, Murphy began to use his speed to gain the corners and break big runs. Once he started to soften the Minutemen defense at the line and they came closer to the line of scrimmage, Murphy eventually took advantage, firing a 43-yard touchdown to Josh Bordner down the right sideline in the fourth quarter to break the game open.

“I thought I played all right,” Murphy said. “There’s still a lot of room to approve and ways to get better.”

His head coach was a little more exuberant.

“I was extremely proud and excited about Tyler today,” Steve Addazio said. “He managed the game like a veteran big time player.”

The most striking aspect of his debut Saturday is that he came in as a graduate student transfer from the University of Florida, where he played in nine games last season, starting six and completing 60.5 percent of his passes before injury ended it. The Florida Gators struggled to a disastrous 4-8 season but between the on-field struggles and his injury, he learned how to persevere. Now, those qualities are helping him lead a brand new football team.

“You have to find a way to motivate guys, push guys and get them to buy into the program,” Murphy said. “Letting them feel my presence, letting them know I’m there.”

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BC overpowers UMass in season opener at Gillette Stadium

08.30.14 at 5:58 pm ET
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FOXBORO — Tyler Murphy and Boston College were just too much for UMass.

The Battle for the Bay State turned into a ground war and the Minutemen were no match for the Eagles as BC outgained UMass, 338-55 on the ground, and 511-202 overall, as Boston College eased its way to a 30-7 win Saturday afternoon at Gillette Stadium.

“Thought our team played a strong, hard, pretty clean game with a couple early penalties cost us in the red zone,” coach Steve Addazio said. “All and all, pleased with opening day, now put that with what it is- it’s opening day, we got a lot of work to do.

“I thought UMass, I thought [new head coach] Mark Whipple and his staff did a great job. You can see the improvement of their football team and that was evident to me. I think they have good things to come.”

In its first game without All-American running back and 2013 Heisman finalist Andre Williams, the Eagles and coach Steve Addazio seemed intent on proving they could still run the ball at will, led by their athletic option quarterback Tyler Murphy, a graduate student transfer from the University of Florida.

Murphy finished with 118 yards rushing on 13 carries, including a 1-yard bootleg keeper for a touchdown in the third quarter. Murphy finished 17-of-24 passing for 173 yards in his first game with the Eagles. He had a touchdown and an interception.

Sophomore tailback Tyler Rouse chipped in with 87 yards on 19 carries as the Eagles won 25th meeting between the two schools but the first since UMass moved up to Football Bowl Subdivision. BC has now won 20 of the 25 encounters between the two in-state rivals.

“We are trying to get better,” Addazio said. “Each week improve. The biggest growth in the football team is in the first few weeks. We took a positive step but we have to continue to grow.

“We are a real strong, physical, kind of move the ball down the field team, but I would like to see if we can create big-yardage explosives.”

Early on, it was a defensive struggle, with Boston College settling for a 44-yard field goal from Alex Howell just 39 seconds into the second quarter. Joey Launceford added a 28-yard field goal with 5:29 left before the half to put Boston College up, 6-0.

UMass had a golden opportunity to take the lead late in the second quarter when Murphy, making his first start as a graduate student transfer from the University of Florida, was intercepted by Randall Jette. The UMass defensive back returned the ball 20 yards to the Boston College 19.

But UMass self-destructed and went backwards from there. Quarterback Blake Frohnapfel took an intentional grounding on first down and threw an incomplete pass on second down. After a four-yard gain on third down, UMass was forced to settle for a 47-yard field goal from Blake Lucas that was wide right.

Murphy marched BC down the field just before half time and gave the Eagles a chance at more points but a 44-yard field goal attempt by Alex Howell was wide right and BC settled for a 6-0 halftime lead despite outgaining UMass, 276-84, including 211-22 on the ground. BC ran 45 plays in the first half to just 24 for UMass.

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BC center Andy Gallik named to All-ACC preseason team

07.23.14 at 1:07 pm ET
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Boston College center Andy Gallik was named to the All-ACC preseason team for 2014. He was the only Eagle to make the list.

Gallik joins an elite group of players that includes Hesiman-Trophy winner Jameis Winston, Virginia Tech corner Kendall Fuller and 17 seniors.

The redshirt senior has started all of BC’s games for each of the last two seasons. He earned All-ACC third-team honors in 2013 and was named to this year’s Rimington Award Watch List.

The Eagles begin the 2014 season Aug. 30 at Gillette Stadium against UMass.

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Longtime UMass men’s soccer coach Sam Koch dies after 2-year battle with cancer

07.23.14 at 1:07 pm ET
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Sam Koch, longtime coach of the University of Massachusetts men’s soccer team, died Sunday after a two-year battle with sinus cancer. He was 59.

“We have lost a great coach and friend with Sam’s passing,” athletic director John McCutcheon said in a statement. “His wonderful spirit and caring way will be missed by all of us and we are grateful to have had Sam in our lives.”

Koch had a 222-182-45 record in 23 seasons at UMass, making him the winningest coach in program history. He led the program to four Atlantic 10 regular-season championships, two A-10 tournament titles and three NCAA tournament appearances, including an improbable run to the College Cup with an unranked squad in 2007.

The Concord native graduated from Colby College as a four-year player in 1979. He was an assistant coach at Brown and Boston College and head coach at Stanford from 1984-89, going 58-53-16.

Koch took over at UMass in 1991 for what was expected to be the program’s final season due to funding and Title IX issues. Instead, he led the once-dying program to 13 winning seasons and five straight from 1999-2003.

On Aug. 7, 2012, Koch informed his team that he had been diagnosed with sinus cancer. He coached for the next two seasons after a brief absence despite constant travel from Amherst to Boston to receive regular treatment.

Koch’s death comes less than a year after Elaine Sortino, the school’s longtime softball coach, died following her own lengthy battle with cancer.

“[Koch] was definitely the type of guy I could walk in his office and tell him I had 30 minutes to talk and we’€™d be in there for an hour,” rising senior captain Matt Keys told The Massachusetts Daily Collegian, the school’s student-run newspaper, on Monday. “He was just the type of guy you could have enormous conversations with and he could tell stories. He was definitely more than just a coach, he was more of a friend and a father.”

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ACC football media predict BC to finish 6th in Atlantic Division

07.21.14 at 1:26 pm ET
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Steve Addazio took a big first step in leading the Boston College football team back to respectability last season, but apparently those who cover the ACC are not convinced the Eagles have turned the corner.

In a poll of media members at the ACC Football Kickoff in Greensboro, N.C., BC was predicted to finish sixth of seven teams in the ACC Atlantic Division.

BC went 7-6 in Addazio’s first season at BC in 2013 — rebounding from a 2-10 finish the year before — but the Eagles lost Heisman Trophy finalist Andre Williams, who led the nation with 2,177 rushing yards and 18 touchdowns, and will break in a new quarterback as well.

Defending national champion Florida State, which returns 15 starters, was the runaway winner to capture another league title, grabbing 109 of 112 first-place votes to win the Atlantic and 104 votes to win the ACC championship game. Only Clemson and Virginia Tech, with two each, received votes to finish as ACC champion.

In the Atlantic, following Florida State (780 points) is Clemson, which had three first-place votes and 660 points. Then there’s league-newcomer Louisville (564 points), Syracuse (368), N.C. State (326), BC (301) and Wake Forest (136).

Voting was split in the Coastal Division. Miami leads the way with 26 first-place votes and 614 points, followed by Duke (33 first-place votes; 597 points), Virginia Tech (23 and 571), North Carolina (27 and 570), Georgia Tech (1 and 322), Pittsburgh (2 and 319) and Virginia (142).

Reigning Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston is expected to repeat as ACC Player of the Year, as the Florida State quarterback garnered 99 points. He’s followed by Clemson defensive end Vic Beasley (6 points), Miami running back Duke Johnson (1), Duke wide receiver Jamison Crowder (1) and Virginia Tech quarterback Brenden Motley (1).

Boston College freshmen Sonny Milano, Alex Tuch selected in first round of NHL Draft

06.27.14 at 10:13 pm ET
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Boston College saw two of its incoming freshmen selected in the first round of the NHL Draft on Friday night. Left wing Sonny Milano of Massapequa, New York, became the second American selected when he went 16th overall to the Columbus Blue Jackets. Two picks later, right wing Alex Tuch (Baldwinsville, New York) went to the Minnesota Wild.

Milano and Tuch played on the same line last season for the U.S. Under-18 Team. Milano tied for the team lead in points with 29 goals and 58 assists in 58 games, while Tuch finished with 29 goals and 34 assists. The center on their line was Chelmsford’s Jack Eichel, the potential first overall pick in next year’s draft who is heading to archrival Boston University this fall.

Milano (6 feet, 183 pounds) is touted as an offensive player with great hands and high-end puck skills. His 87 points last season were tied for the fourth-most in U.S. Under-18 Team history, behind only Patrick Kane, Phil Kessel and Andy Hilbert (hey, two out of three isn’t bad). Tuch, meanwhile, is a 6-foot-4, 213-pound power forward type noted for his puck protection and ability to get to the front of the net.

Milano and Tuch will be important parts of a BC forward group that will try to overcome the losses of Johnny Gaudreau, Kevin Hayes and Bill Arnold — three of the best players in college hockey last season.

Milano, by the way, has also become something of a YouTube sensation for his off-ice stick tricks. Check out the video below:

New BC basketball coach Jim Christian accepts ‘Cold Water Challenge’

06.26.14 at 8:28 am ET
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The #Chillin4Charity “Cold Water Challenge” is a fundraiser in which coaches get a bucket of ice water dumped on their head to raise awareness and money for the Kay Yow Cancer Fund.

Coaches challenge their peers to get doused within 48 hours or donate $250 to the cause, named for the N.C. State women’s basketball coach who died of cancer in 2009.

New Boston College basketball coach Jim Christian accepted the challenge Wednesday, with help from some of his players.

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Boston University AD Mike Lynch to step down June 30

06.02.14 at 1:42 pm ET
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Change is coming to Comm. Ave, as Boston University athletic director Mike Lynch announced in a statement that he will leave the position on June 30.

“After 14 years at BU and a decade of leading the Terriers, I have come to the conclusion that it is time to move on and blaze a new path in my career,”€ Lynch wrote, adding: “I do not know yet what the future holds, but I do know that whatever my next stop may be I will always be a Terrier at heart.”

Lynch led BU to one of its most successful stretches in the history of the school. After Lynch assumed the role of AD in 2004, the Terriers claimed six straight Stuart P. Haskell, Jr. Commissioner Cups, given to the top athletic department in the America East Conference. He also oversaw the department during the 2008-09 college hockey season, when the men’€™s hockey team captured its fifth NCAA title.

Todd Klipp, BU’s senior vice president, senior counsel and secretary for of the board of trustees, announced that deputy director of athletics Drew Marrochello will serve as interim AD while the university looks for Lynch’€™s successor.

“€œI want to express my sincere thanks to Mike for his many years of devoted service to Boston University and his commitment to excellence in athletics, academics, and community,” Klipp said.

Over the past year, Lynch has led the transition of a majority of BU teams from the America East to the Patriot League, while also welcoming a men’€™s lacrosse varsity team. In the Terriers’€™ first year in the Patriot League, the women’€™s teams won a conference-record seven championships.

Before his role as AD, Lynch served as the assistant vice president of development for athletics and student life from 2000-04. During that time, Lynch increased annual support for BU athletics by more than 200 percent.

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Providence College hockey player Drew Brown battling cancer

05.15.14 at 12:25 pm ET
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Providence College junior forward Drew Brown has left school to receive treatment for Ewing’s sarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer, the school announced Thursday.

“My family and my teammates have been great,” Brown said in a statement. “I have had so much support from them and that’s made a tough situation a lot easier.”

Brown suffered a lower-body injury in the Friars’ Hockey East semifinal game back on March 21, and the tumor was found during an MRI of that injury. He recently returned home to Michigan to begin chemotherapy at the University of Michigan’s University Hospital in Ann Arbor.

“The [Providence College] training and medical staff was there every step of the way, trying to figure out what was wrong,” Brown said. “I’m glad our sports medicine department takes such pride in caring for their athletes and found this tumor early because of their persistence.”

Brown played 16 games this past season, posting two goals and four assists. In three years with the Friars, he has registered 10 goals and 22 assists in 75 games.

“Drew is in for a big fight, but he’s as tough and as hardworking as they come,” Providence coach Nate Leaman said. “I have known Drew and his family for several years and we will be there to support them however we can in the coming year.”

Yale basketball player Brandon Sherrod leaves team to join school a capella group

05.14.14 at 11:44 am ET
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The Yale basketball team finished this past season 19-14 overall and 9-5 in the Ivy League — good for second place behind Harvard — and the Bulldogs are expected to challenge for the top spot in the conference again next year.

However, the team will do so without one of its key players, forward Brandon Sherrod.

The 6-foot-6 junior from Bridgeport, Conn., decided he would accept an invitation to join Yale’s prestigious Whiffenpoofs all-male a capella singing group and take next year off.

“This is supposed to be THE year, and you want to play with your guys,” Sherrod told The Associated Press. “But the Whiffenpoofs is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”

The Whiffenpoofs, formed in 1909, gives rising seniors at Yale the opportunity to take off a year from studies and travel the world — every continent but Antartica is on the schedule for 2014-15.

Coach James Jones accepted Sherrod’s decision and said he would welcome the player back the following year. Sherrod started 14 games last season, averaging 6.8 points and 4.3 rebounds. He played 22 minutes in the Bulldogs’ 74-67 victory at Harvard on Feb. 8 — the Crimson’s only league loss of the season.

“That’s one of the things we talk about when we recruit kids is what is available at Yale and the different opportunities they’re going to have,” Jones said. “Brandon ‘s going to take advantage of one of them, and I understand.”

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